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Prisoner's Base by Rex Stout

Prisoner's Base (1952)

by Rex Stout

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Nero Wolfe (21)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7221320,174 (4.06)35
When Priscilla Eads, heiress to cotton-towel millions, first pleads for Nero Wolfe's assistance, the portly detective decides to wash his hands of a case that has more than its share of dirty laundry. Just hours later Miss Eads and her maid are found strangled to death under circumstances that don't quite wash. Now, to the dismay of a greedy board of directors and a fortune-hunting South American ex-husband, the astute Wolfe feels, on second thought, a certain responsibility to dip into Priscilla's case and scrub away the stain--of murder! Introduction by William DeAndrea "It is always a treat to read a Nero Wolfe mystery. The man has entered our folklore."--The New York Times Book Review   A grand master of the form, Rex Stout is one of America's greatest mystery writers, and his literary creation Nero Wolfe is one of the greatest fictional detectives of all time. Together, Stout and Wolfe have entertained--and puzzled--millions of mystery fans around the world. Now, with his perambulatory man-about-town, Archie Goodwin, the arrogant, gourmandizing, sedentary sleuth is back in the original seventy-three cases of crime and detection written by the inimitable master himself, Rex Stout.… (more)



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» See also 35 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
This 21st (?) entry in the Nero Wolfe series was interesting because Archie ended up as Wolfe's client!. The plot was good; I ended up suspecting several characters and though the culprit was one of those, I can't claim to have figured it out myself.

Michael Pritchard does a good narration. ( )
  leslie.98 | Oct 10, 2018 |
This has long been one of my favorite books in the Nero Wolfe/Archie Goodwin series, though for a long time I wouldn't re-read it because of A Thing that happens. A few years ago I decided that was silly and re-read it. The Thing is still very ... Thing-y, but in my (ahem) maturity I really appreciate the way author Rex Stout handles the situation and the fallout from it in ways that serve the story without striking even a single false note with our beloved characters. So it went back on the re-read list, and I re-read it recently. It's still awfully good, in every sense of the phrase. ( )
  rosalita | Oct 4, 2017 |
I like Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin. In this case, a young woman comes looking for sanctuary for a week but Wolfe doesn't let her stay and she is dead by the end of the night as is her maid. Goodwin feels compelled to look into the murder although Wolfe won't get involved at first because he doesn't have a paying client; He then decides Archie is his client and the investigation is on with lots of footwork from the police. Then another woman involved is killed while Archie is on the phone with her. The first victim was due to inherit lots of money and her father's company on her next birthday, one week away. If she died - several company officers inherit. The third victim has a small part of the company she inherited from her father. Other suspects include the first victim's former husband who seems to have a signed statement from her giving him a half share. The maid was also married and Archie and Wolfe have to look at her husband.

Just watched season 1 of the tv series done in early 2000 or so with Timothy Hutton as Archie Goodwin. This episode was one of those used in the tv show.
  taurus27 | Jun 18, 2016 |
A young heiress asks Wolfe to let her stay in his house for a week unitl she inherits control of a major corporation. Then her guardian (not nowing she is there) asks Wolfe to find her. Wolfe tells her to match his offer or leave. She leaves and is murdered shortly afterward. A friend hires Wolfe to investigate and then it murdered under conditions that remind Archie Goodwin of the old game prisoner's base. I like both victims so I do not enjoy this story as much as most. Wolfe stories ( )
  antiquary | Jun 11, 2016 |
Archie becomes the client in an unusual case that involves the contested transfer of a company. Archie takes responsibility for the murder of a potential client and goes on his own to solve the case. NW is forced to take him on as a client. ( )
  addunn3 | Mar 29, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rex Stoutprimary authorall editionscalculated
DeAndrea, WilliamIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prichard, MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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In Nero Wolfe's old brownstone house on West Thirty-fifth Street that Monday afternoon in June, the atmosphere was sparky.
Wolfe was going on. "I didn't have a client this morning, or even an hour ago, but now I have. Mr. Rowcliff's ferocious spasms, countenanced by you gentlemen, have made the challenge ineluctable. When Mr. Goodwin said that I was not concerned in this matter and that he was acting solely in his own personal interest, he was telling the truth. As you may know, he is not indifferent to those attributes of young women that constitute the chief reliance of our race in our gallant struggle against the menace of the insects. He is especially vulnerable to young women who possess not only those more obvious charms but also have a knack of stimulating his love of chivalry and adventure and his preoccupation with the picturesque and the passionate. Priscilla Eads was such a woman. She spent some time with Mr. Goodwin yesterday; he locked her in a bedroom of my house. Within three hours of her eviction by him at my behest, she was brutally murdered. I will not say that the effect on him amounted to derangement, but it was considerable. He bounded out of my house like a man obsessed, after telling me that he was going single-handed after a murderer, and after arming himself. It was pathetic, but it was also humane, romantic, and thoroughly admirable, and your callous and churlish treatment of him leaves me with no alternative. I am at his service. He is my client."
Rowcliff's voice blurted incredulously, "You mean, Archie Goodwin is your client?"
The dry cutting voice of Bowen, the DA, put in, "All that rigmarole was leading up to that?"
"What would you think of me," Wolfe asked him, "if, solely on information furnished by you here and now, I accepted this case and started to work on it?"
"What would I think? That's what I want!" "Surely not," Wolfe objected.
"Surely you would be employing a jackass."
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